Hints and Tips. ( Part 2.)


 British camping gas comes in portable metal ´bottles ´ either painted red or blue, the gas in the red bottle

 will work  at a lower temperature than that of the gas in the blue bottle. If you plan on camping through

 a UK winter for  instance buy the gas in the red bottle it does not freeze up as quickly as the blue.

 Portable bottles are exchanged for a full one at a  dealer when empty, but not at a cheap price compared

 with another system which I will also explain.

 Bottles used in the  UK are often not interchangable with bottles of gas in Europe and to the best of our

 knowledge there are only  2 or 3 places  where you can have British bottles refilled and they are in

 Portugal. The result of the above is that campers  new to foreign travel find themselves having to purchase

 a new bottle of gas and regulator in whichever country they are in and again it may be  the next time they

 run out of gas in another country a new bottle and regulator will have to be purchased again. We have  met

 folks who were carrying 3 different bottles and regulators. It is now possible to purchase refillable

 portable gas bottles which can be filled at an LPG outlet at a cost of at least  half of that of the buying a

 bottle from a dealer. Unfortunately, for reasons which in many people´s thoughts are suspect, in 2007 the

 UK government decided that it is to dangerous to allow those bottles to be refilled at a Filling Station,  

 yet it is legal to refill a tank with an exceedingly dangerous liquid in exactly the same way at the said

 station, Petrol.  An LPG tank/bottle can be fixed permanently to a vehicle with an outlet for filling at a

 pump making it legal and  depending on the size can last for months of travel. The expense of fitting has

 to be put against use and convenience, which in our case we found to be to our advantage as we carried

 three small adapters which allowed us to use LPG pumps across  most of Europe. LPG is known also as GPL

 in some European countries.


                                                 Most motorhomes have a fresh water tank which is normally filled from                                                  the outside of the vehicle and the water is pumped  to the taps on demand.                                                  Now some owners prefer to fill up the water tank before moving off, but                                                  consider that 100 litres of water weighs nearly 100 kgs (approx. 220lbs)                                                  that is the equivalant of carrying an extra two passengers. The price  fuel                                                  is at why waste it carrying a load that is unnecessary unless you intend                                                  not to use campsites and free camp instead.  Another point is that in the

 case of many motorhomes that 100 kgs will affect the amount of payload you can carry,  in other words  take 100 kgs off a 300kg payload and you are down to 200kg.

 In the UK specifications a motorhome built  there should have had a full tank of water taken into

 consideration and therefore will not affect the vehicle payload, but  from experience that may not be so

 with one built abroad. Now filling up with water  can be a chore if you cannot reach the water tap with a

 hose (make sure it is a food safe one ) and we often see people to  and fro-ing to the water point with a  watering can, which may be 1 or 2 gallons, that is a lot of carrying if you are filling up a 100 litre tank.  

 Many motorhomes have the water entry point almost at shoulder height, which I am sure is one reason for  the watering can, but we bought a 5 gallon polythene water carrier from a ship´s Chandler and when  necessary I fill it, but use a folding trolley to cart it from tap to vehicle where with a length of food safe  tubing it is transferred using a 12 volt submersible water pump such as used in caravans.  Remember you  don´t need to spend a lot of  money on such a pump just to lift water 4 or 5 feet. Caravaners often use  roll water tanks which they can push or pull but  I found that the rectangular shape of the water carrier  fitted in better for storage in our van.

 Holidays or Full Timing.

 Using your motorhome for a 2 week holiday plus the odd weekend does not put the same pressure on a unit

 as extended time away, such as 3 or 4 months or indeed living in it full time most of the year. The amount

 of gear you  carry is  considerably more normally on extended trips compared to the yearly 2 week holiday

 and as such you should consider this  at time of purchase, because living in a relatively small space over a

 long period of time makes more use  of equipment and  furnishings. After 1 year of full time living in our  

 Rimor we ended up replacing the seat cushions as the original foam no  longer supported us and we bought

 denser foam to replace it, but this added 20 kilos which of course came off the  payload. Another point is  to ask the dealer if the foam is fire retardent and check for labels as it is illegal to sell non retardent  treated foam in the UK

 Do keep in mind  that everything you add to the vehicle will affect the MPTLM ( used to be called the  GVW..Goods Vehicle Weight ) and it is very easy to overload the vehicle without realising it.


Kitchen equipment, do you  really need a Microwave ?, good quality Melamine plates etc are a lot lighter than the plates you use at home. Pots and  pans we cut down on the number we carried and bought the type usable on gas or electric, whilst our electric kettle is  860W plastic type.



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